The photo editor at Fit Preg recently asked me to dig up a pre-pregnancy photograph of myself to show what I looked like in my ultimate "before" state. I sent her the one at left, which shows me at about 9 weeks pregnant. To be fair, this is actually "during" I suppose, but this is just about how I looked in that mythical era of what now seems like it must have been nearly endless free time and complete, fetterless, blissful self-absorption.
Then, I used to devote entire Saturdays to yoga classes—I'd take off early, maybe grab a juice before class, hang out at the studio, maybe get a massage afterward. Or my husband and I would walk. I'm pictured here in our Santa Monica apartment, which was located 28 blocks from the beach. On weekends, we'd spend the entire day hoofing it down to the beach, over to Venice on the boardwalk, and back home again, stopping in to grab a bite to eat along the way. If I wanted to see my Pilates trainer after work, I just did it—if I got home at 9:30, no biggie. I could pretty much do whatever I want, whenever I wanted.
Now, I can break into a full-body sweat just trying to squeeze exercise into my schedule. I've learned that going guerrilla is my best bet—planning simply isn't working well for me right now, as I still don't have enough structure in place to support it. God knows my 22 month old isn't going to do it. No, he will work tirelessly to undo every scheme I hatch. He will do his best to distract me from my weight-loss goals. And he's turned out not to be such a great workout buddy either (lately, when I lay back to do ab work, he butt slams my face and cackles with glee about it).
So, lest inertia overtake me, I grab bits and pieces of exercise when I can, and am always rewarded—and reminded that it's TOTALLY worth making the time. When I can steal away a few minutes to move my body, and it never fails to lift my mood, and refresh my mind, boost my energy (even if only a little). Plus, my body is just grateful for a little attention—it's like the formerly doted-upon, overfed housecat who got put out when the new baby arrived. A few strokes, and it purrs.
I'll never look quite like I did in my pre-Truman days; I was no skinny girl then, but I was tighter, my stomach flatter. I'm older now, more cougar than kitten for sure (or, well, overfed housecat than kitten, but you get my drift). I look a little more like R. Crumb drew me. I've lost a little weight, then gained some of it back. Right now, I'm at about 155, down from 165, but up from 147. Oh, well. So what?
In my pre-Truman life, this "failure" would be a big bummer, a reason for self-flagellation. And, to some extent, it still is. But motherhood has reset my priorities; it really has called my era of complete self-absorption to a close (I'm still self-absorbed, just not completely). So I have to put it all in perspective. Does Truman care whether I'm wearing my skinny jeans or not? No. Do ten extra pounds affect my ability to be a wise and compassionate parent? I hope not. Can I eat in a way that is focused on creating health and well-being and let the weight-loss results naturally flow? I hope so, since this is how I intend to proceed, with the full intention of creating an energetic and happy life for myself and my son, one in which we can enjoy each others company for years—and many more "after" photos—to come.